HOYLAKE, England — To listen to Tom Kim inform it, he almost missed 1,000,000 greenback payout.
After tearing ligaments in his proper ankle earlier within the week, Kim thought of dropping out of The Open Championship and returning residence. As a substitute, he determined to carry on, put a solid on his ankle, and preserve enjoying.
It paid off. Kim braved the wind and rain at Royal Liverpool on Sunday and put collectively one of the best 18 holes of anybody on the course. His 4-under 67 was the day’s greatest rating and pushed him right into a tie for second place and a $1.084 million prize.
“I am fairly glad I did not,” Kim mentioned with a smile of just about pulling out.
After a primary lap of 74, Kim was 3 over and eight strokes behind the leaders. However three straight rounds underneath 70 and being second in strokes gained made his unsatisfactory Thursday moot.
Kim carried out so nicely on Sunday that he mentioned he forgot about his ailing ankle. Because the adrenaline rose, any ache he had felt diminished.
“It truly lasted higher right this moment,” Kim mentioned. “I took off my solid and form of a noticed and it truly acquired loads higher, which was very nice to see.”
For a 21-year-old in his first full 12 months on the PGA Tour, changing into the youngest participant to complete within the high two on the Open since Seve Ballesteros in 1976 is not any small feat. Kim has already gained twice on the PGA Tour and made a reputation for herself together with her efficiency in final 12 months’s Presidents Cup. He now has a top-eight end on the US Open and a second-place end at The Open Championship to his identify.
“It’s totally, very satisfying,” he mentioned. “It has been robust at occasions this 12 months. … Seeing golf programs I have not been to, hitting an enormous studying curve, it has been a bit irritating.”
Kim mentioned the expectations he had of himself grew after his tour wins, and a part of him felt like he wanted to play nicely on a regular basis. Though he is struggled at occasions in 2023 (lacking 5 cups this season), he is needed to remind himself that the gamers he is up towards have been doing it for some time. Few of them completed so excessive in a significant at his age.
“I actually should put issues into perspective and preserve working laborious to maintain enjoying higher,” Kim mentioned. “I’ve put in a whole lot of work this 12 months attempting to get that sense of rivalry again into the massive occasions, and it is fairly good to see the fruits come to life.”
As Brian Harman lifted the Claret Jug on Sunday and Kim lastly made it residence, the Georgia native in some methods introduced a possible function mannequin for Kim. Each aren’t so long as among the drivers on tour, however their iron recreation and precision gas their recreation. A runner-up end for Kim at this event early in her profession, in addition to a tie for eighth on the Scottish Open final week, might bode nicely for her future on any hyperlinks course.